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Disneyland Article
Disneyland Trades Toontowns Cartoon Chaos For Family Friendly Calmness

Goofys How-to-Play Yard
ID:
TMS-5242
Source:
Orange County Register
Author:
Brady Macdonald
Dateline:
March 18, 2023
Posted:
March 28, 2023
Status:
Current
The chaotic Toontown of yesterday that looked like it had been designed by Roger Rabbit with a cartoon mallet and a stick of dynamite has been replaced with the family-friendly Toontown of today that looks like the result of a Minnie Mouse home improvement show.

Disneyland hosted a media preview of Mickey’s Toontown on Saturday, March 18, ahead of the grand reopening of the kid-centric land on Sunday, March 19 at the Anaheim theme park.

During the preview, I viewed the renovated Mickey’s Toontown from the point of view of the intended audience: Grade school kids and their parents.

Saturday was a Chamber of Commerce day with temperatures in the mid-70s and perfect blue skies that made the colorfully refreshed land pop with extra vibrancy.

The first thing you notice when you walk into Mickey’s Toontown is the burst of color in every direction you look. Not the hot reds and pinks of Roger Rabbit’s Toontown, but the new cool greens, blues and purples picked out by Minnie Mouse’s home improvement team at Walt Disney Imagineering.

Fun is still at the forefront of Toontown’s mission statement — just without the cartoon intensity that Roger Rabbit has brought to the place since 1993. The overall vibe of Toontown 2023 is more subdued relaxation with an emphasis on calmness and decompression. Toontown of today is more about burning off energy rather than cranking up the pressure.

Kids swarmed the new land rebuilt just for them and their families. Tightrope walking along the sculpted Dreaming Tree roots like a balance beam. Splashing in the Centoonial Park fountain water play basins filled with spurting flowers, clamshells and cattails. Sliding on their bellies down the rainbow roller slides next to Fort Max. Teaming up to tackle games of skill and chance in Goofy’s House. Cranking the bilge pumps to make bubbles appear in the “flooding from the inside” portholes of Donald’s Boat.

The old standbys are still there. Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin still anchors one end of the land serving as the perfect old-school tandem to the cutting-edge new Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway trackless dark ride next door.

The interactive activities in the town square between the dueling dark rides are a reminder of the Toontown of yesterday — with all the Wham! Pow! Boom! audio gags working again. But cartoon explosions are largely a thing of the past in a Toontown 2.0, which puts an emphasis on defusing kid-sized bombs rather than setting them off.

Need a place for the kids to run off some steam? Head over to Fort Max where they can climb on a mini version of Redwood Creek Challenge Trail at Disney California Adventure. Looking for a spot to get out of the sun? Sit for a while under the shady trees on the new artificial lawn in front of Mickey’s House. In search of a place to wind down after a hectic day at the park? Chill out in Popcorn Park in the quiet back corner of the revitalized land.

Goofy’s House is now filled with a crazy candy-making contraption where kids can play games that sort gumballs by color. Imagine a pachinko game combined with a leaf blower and you get the general idea. Parents can get in on all the fun if they want or just sit back and let their kids enjoy themselves.

Next door, Donald’s Boat has a few fun flooded portholes where kids of all ages can interact with audio-animatronic versions of Huey, Dewey, and Louie.

Imagineering went to great lengths to ensure the refreshed Toontown was inviting and welcoming to children of differing needs and abilities. Walt Disney’s Dreaming Tree has braille lettering on the undulating roots that spell out “dream” and “play.”

The kiddie coaster at the far end of the land looks pretty much the same — and still draws little interest despite the Chip ‘n’ Dale makeover. It remains a great first coaster for kids and parents to ride together before the little ones graduate to Matterhorn Bobsleds.

Hold on tight to your wallet when you exit through the gift shop after riding Runaway Railway. EngineEar Souvenirs has a demonstration play table where kids can test out the new radio-controlled car ($50) and train ($150) thematically tied to the new attraction.

When it’s time to eat, Cafe Daisy offers something for mom ($13 Spring Garden Wrap), dad ($10.50 Pizza Flop-Over) and the kids ($8 Mini Corn Dogs).

The relentless string of rain storms this winter delayed the opening of Mickey’s Toontown — and left a few things unfinished. A toddler play area still needs a little more work, the show element of the fountain centerpiece that plays on the half hour remains a work in progress and Cafe Daisy got overwhelmed by a relatively modest media crowd. The splash zone play area with water jets, dancing fountains and misters remained out of commission on Saturday.

But those kinks will be worked out in the days and weeks ahead as Disneyland gets the new and improved Mickey’s Toontown up and running.
 
Attractions Referenced

CenTOONial Park

Chip n Dale GADGETcoaster

Donald’s Duck Pond

Dreaming Tree

Goofys How-to-Play Yard

Matterhorn Bobsleds

Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway

Mickey's House

Minnie's House

Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin

 
Restaurants Referenced

Cafe Daisy

 
Shops Referenced

EngineEar Souvenirs

 
Lands Referenced

Toon Town

 
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